File appears to be in an invalid format


When you try to retrieve data on a company in Toolkit you receive the error: "File appears to be in an invalid format"


If you see this error, it means that Toolkit is sending login and password information from the Preferences screen, and is receiving something other than a valid SSG file, in reply. Since Toolkit is only built to recognize valid SSG files, There are a few possibilities for why you might see this error message. A short list appears below, followed by some suggestions about how to proceed


  • Starting in late 2021, we found members using AT&T began having problems with updating data in Toolkit. If you are using AT&T as your internet service, you may need to contact them.
  • You may be accessing the data service from a foreign location, or using VPN type of service routed through a foreign location that our firewall does not allow.
  • The ticker symbol may either not exist, or may be different than what you are entering
  • The data feed preferences do not match your current subscription.
  • The Better Investing or Stock Central subscription needs to be renewed.
  • You may have security software preventing the connection.


Using AT&T as your internet service

If you are using AT&T as your internet service, we have found that the way their devices (router or modem) are set up, can cause problems with Toolkit's connection to the data service. This is due to Toolkit using an older internet standard, that has in some cases, been disabled on AT&Ts routers or modems. If you have AT&T as an internet service, please get in touch with their customer support, and let them know the following:


I have a program that is only capable of using the IPV4 standard when connecting to the internet. Based on testing done by the software provider, they believe that the connection between the program (Investor's Toolkit 6) and their servers, is being blocked.


If possible, I need to have my internet hardware (router and/or modem) adjusted so that it will allow the communication using the IPV4 standard, to both and , from my location.


Foreign Location

This is the least common, but usually the easiest to confirm. If you are not currently in the North America, or if you are using a VPN service that is not routed through North America, it is possible your connection may be blocked. If you think that might be the case, please do what you can to use a VPN connection that only routes through North America.


Checking the ticker symbol

The easiest thing to check is that you are using a valid ticker symbol.

With Toolkit open, go to File > Import Company > From Subscribed Data

Try looking up a common ticker that you do not already have in your library.

(We often use Ford, since they have been using the single letter F ticker symbol for so long).

If you encounter the error even when using a more common ticker symbol, the next thing will be to confirm your login and password.

Data Feed Preferences

Confirming your login and password

One of the most common reasons for this error is not having the correct login and password for your data service account, or needing to renew the subscription to the data service.

You will need to know which data service you subscribe to and what your username and password is.

One of the most common issues we see is a simple typo. Whether that means entering the wrong letter, having the Caps Lock key on, or the Number Lock key off, there are a lot of easy to miss but simple issues. Since password boxes are designed to hide what is actually being typed, the easiest way to check that you are entering the same password that you have written down/memorized/etc. is to start a new email, and type your password into the body of the email. If you notice some part of it seems missing or wrong, double check your Caps and Number Lock keys, to make sure they are correct set to be on or off, depending on your password. If you can confirm that you are typing the password you have in your records, the next thing most common thing will be to have the password reset.

For Better Investing members

Your username and password are most commonly your member number and the corresponding password you would use to sign into the Better Investing website. If you are unsure what they are, you can contact Better Investing toll free at 877-275-6242.

For StockCentral subscribers

You can test your username and password, or request a password reset at the following website:

StockCentral subscribers can also contact ICLUB Central at 877-334-2582 to request a password reset.

Subscription Status

If you call, you can also check your subscription status at that time. If you reset your password without calling, we suggest to also check the Account or Profile section of the site once you are signed in, to check if your account is up for renewal.

If you have your password reset, double-check to make sure you can sign in at the BetterInvesting Site or StockCentral, depending on which subscription you have.

Once you have confirmed the proper login and password for your data service, the next thing is to double-check the login and password information in Toolkit.

Configuring Toolkit

  1. Open Toolkit.
  2. In the OPTIONS menu, click on PREFERENCES.
  3. In the Preferences window, click the DATA FEED tab.
  4. Depending on your subscription, fill in either the StockCentral or BetterInvesting login and password boxes.
  5. Check that there is a dot in either the "Better Investing " or "StockCentral" data feed option, depending on which you subscribe to.
  6. Click OK once the settings are correct.
  7. Try to retrieve company data.

Security Software

Due to the number and variety of security programs available, we will not go into specific detail on each one here.

That said, there are a few things we can suggest.


First, try temporarily disabling all security programs listed in the tray area (usually near the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, but the date and time). If you see a small triangle/arrow, click that as well, to make sure you can see all of the listed programs. Do this, re-open Toolkit, and try again. If this works, we strongly suggest you contact the support team for that software, and ask if they have a way to make sure that their software will not interfere with any program or file in the C:\ProgramFiles\ICLUBcentral\Toolkit6 folder.


Similarly, if you have overlapping security programs (If you have Norton Antivirus and Webroot, for example), you are probably better picking one and sticking with it. Permanently Disable or uninstall one of the overlapping programs, re-open Toolkit and try again.